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At-home learning options offered to CCS preschoolers

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

As Chilton County Schools transitions to at-home learning for students, it has not forgotten its youngest students — preschool.

Every area of Chilton County has at least one Alabama First Class Pre-K. After the announcement that all public schools would continue instruction off campus for the remainder of the school year, the Department of Early Childhood Education sent school systems a plan on how to continue to support students in these classes.

The plan follows a similar plan to that implemented for kindergarten through 12th grade, allowing for online learning, learning packets or a combination of the two. It also lists a number of deadlines and objectives that should still be met.

All teachers were to have made initial contact with their students’ parents or family by April 9.

“Each school has set up a plan for their teachers to be in contact with their students,” Ashlie Harrison, CCS Department of Teaching and Learning director, said. “This has involved sending them packets with activities to continue to develop their social and emotional skills, Zoom (video conference call) meetings and phone calls. We are very thankful for the level of support that our teachers are providing. We are also thankful for their dedication to our students.”

Jemison Elementary School Assistant Principal Meghan Owens said the school sent home “get ready for kindergarten” packets.

“In addition to this, my teachers are setting up Zoom meetings and other virtual meetings with the students so that they can still see their teachers and friends,” Owens said. “We feel that it is very important to continue the social and emotional development even if we are not physically in the classroom. My teachers have been in constant contact to provide resources and information to our parents. The teachers have also FaceTimed with several of the students. We want our students to know that we love and miss them.”

The focus during this time is “social/emotional skills and making sure these students are ready for Kindergarten,” Harrison said.

Each child’s preschool teacher has made resources available to their family and is available for contact should questions or concerns arise.

Additional resources are expected to be available by the end of the month.

Owens said that the state department “is putting together a backpack of resources for each child.”

Items from Lakeshore Learning and resources for parents will also be included.

“All those involved, the schools, county and state, all have the students best interest in mind and want to provide all the support we can,” Owens said.

Alabama First Class Pre-K serves four-year-olds.

Drawings for next year’s preschool classrooms have already taken place, and parents have been notified.